online community journalism

Hodgee, the friendly Lake Hodges Monster: Fact or fiction?

Go down to Hernandez Hideaway at rural Lake Drive in Del Dios and people will swear up and down the long wooden bar that Hodgee, the friendly Lake Hodges monster, really truly — well, almost definitely exists. “The Lake Hodges Hodgee monster is kind of like the Loch Ness monster,” said Stan Smith, a long-time Del Dios resident. Smith, a cowboy poet and man about…


San Diego North County Japanese-Americans recall World War II internments

In San Diego County, which had a population of 2,076 Japanese-Americans in 1940, families were sent to Poston, 12 miles south of Parker, Ariz. Poston was one of 10 internment camps created during World War II after an executive order authorized the Secretary of War to designate specific areas as military zones and excluded certain people from living in them. President Franklin Roosevelt signed Executive Order…


It’s National Fluffernutter Day. Hooray?

Every dog has its day, they say, and apparently so does every cause, effect and plain old thing. Welcome to Tuesday Oct. 8, 2019. It’s National Fluffernutter Day. (Also, the start of Yom Kippur, 5780, but that’s a tale for another day.) Correct, National Fluffernutter Day is observed annually on Oct. 8, according to the National Day Calendar. This is a day set aside each year to make,…


Madeleine Pickens, you are what you eat

Or what’s eating Madeleine Pickens? Rancho Santa Fe resident and ardent Donald Trump supporter Madeleine Pickens wanted the African-American chef she recruited from the Del Mar Country Club she owns in Southern California to cook “black people food” — not “white people food” — at her rural Nevada dude ranch and wild horse sanctuary, according to a federal lawsuit accusing her of racial discrimination. Armand…


Community news for the rest of us

People, but mainly PR agents, send stuff all the time to our e-mail account. Sometimes we publish, many times we don’t because, you know, that’s how we roll. When PR agents, known in old-time journo lingo as “flacks,” send us material, we send them back our ad rates, which are $100 a month for sidebar ads, $200 a month for banner ads below the top…


In search of…Big Tepee

Big Tepee? Do you know the way, Jose’? Go around Escondido. Ask anyone about the Big Tepee. Since we can’t bet dollars against donuts anymore — some donuts cost much more than a dollar — let’s wager dollars against Chargers super bowl appearances that people asked that question will believe you should go to a big tepee of the medical kind. There’s an answer to…


Pala’s ultimate underground radio station

Pala’s ultimate underground radio station — A long strange journey for ‘Mark’s Groovy Trip’ Move over WKRP in Cincinnati. Palomar Country has Pala Rez radio, 91.3 on your dial, that is if you can get it. And Pala Rez, an iHeartRadio partner, has got “Mark’s Groovy Trip” courtesy of the charismatic, and informative, 1970s music aficionado, radio programmer and San Diego Padres TV cameraman Mark…


Pastor hikes road to glory with heavy cross

Pastor Wes Mauch took a road less traveled through Valley Center, carrying a 38-pound wooden cross, a well-worn Bible and message all the way to Rancho Santa Fe. Mauch, 66, walked along the side of Cole Grade Road, wooden cross on his shoulder and all, “doing what Jesus asked me to do,” he said while vehicular traffic whizzed by as if he were invisible. When…


Pala Store at the end of the road

Pala Store may be a hundred yards away from Pala Casino Spa & Resort, but it feels like it’s a creature from another planet. It is, too, for this store lives in a parallel universe, both in space and time. At 3000 Pala Mission Road, the store that has served as focal point for nearly eight decades was, and remains, the only store from Pala…


Drive Tales: ‘It’s upside down, so what?’

Drive tales One of my many jobs right now is delivering packages for Amazon Prime Now. It’s a little different from Amazon Prime where packages are delivered at Amazon’s choosing by USPS, UPS, and FedEx. With Prime Now, YOU choose when you want your goods delivered. You can choose any two-hour window between 8 a.m. and 10 p.m., seven days a week at no extra…